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LA labor unions are dialing back their position on the minimum wage. After campaigning for an increase for months, they're now pushing for a last-minute exemption for businesses with unionized workers. Why the switch? Could this new request derail wage reform in LA? Guest host Barbara Bogaev looks at the latest power tussle over $15 dollars an hour minimum wage.

Also, like everyone else, cemeteries are grappling with the drought -- some less peacefully than others.

Photo: Mike Bonin (C) with Gil Cedillo and Nury Martinez, who helped him pushed the $15 an hour ordinance through the City Council. (Mike Bonin)

Producers:
Claire Martin
Benjamin Gottlieb

Labor Asks for a Pass on LA's New Minimum Wage? 16 MIN, 56 SEC

After eight months of often contentious negotiations, last week LA labor unions helped push through a plan to increase the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020. Now they seem to have pulled an about-face on the position that everyone deserves a living wage. They're asking that businesses with unionized work forces be exempt. Why? How might it affect the final draft of the city's new minimum wage ordinance?

Guests:
Dakota Smith, Daily News (@dakotacdsmith)
Margo Feinberg, Schwartz, Steinsapir, Dohrmann & Sommers
Ruben Gonzalez, LA Area Chamber of Commerce (@rubzg3)
Mike Bonin, Los Angeles City Council (@mikebonin)

More:
LA County Federation of Labor on wage increase
LA Area Chamber of Commerce on increasing LA's minimum wage

Pioneering Drought Tolerance at a California Cemetery 7 MIN, 50 SEC

As you decide where to lay a loved one to rest, do you picture their new surroundings -- the trees, plants, grass. And do you expect that scene to stay the same, forever? Odds are it won't. Last month Governor Jerry Brown issued California's first mandatory water restrictions, and the new rules apply to cemeteries, which have a long tradition of lush, well-watered lawns. In drought-stricken Southern California, this transition is coming with challenges as we hear from Kerstin Zilm.

This piece was made in collaboration with KCRW's Independent Producer Project.

Guests:
Kerstin Zilm, Independent Producer (@soundslikerstin)

More:
Savannah Memorial Park, Pioneer Cemetery

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